Updated September 30, 2022.
Often you’ll find in needlepoint that there is something in the design you don’t like. Software people call these bugs, mistakes or unwanted things, that can, if you let them, ruin your product.
Marketing people (usually not loved by programmers) would optimistically call the bugs “features,” turning a bad thing, such as a weird sort order, into a good thing. But just like making lemonade from lemons turning bugs into features can turn something that might limit your choices into something that makes them great.
It’s not an unfamiliar problem to us as stitchers. We might change the cat from tabby to black, or the baseball uniform to match our son’s Little League colors.
I faced this problem with the Tudor Rose. As you can see in the picture below, the unstitched canvas had an outline. That’s fine but I wanted my stitched piece to fit inside a Lee box and the circle was just too small.
The outline being black, I couldn’t paint over it. I couldn’t just ignore it (it showed through the lighter gold of the background.
I turned the bug, the outline, into a feature by stitching it in shiny metallic. This accented that smaller circle, creating an inner border enclosing the rose and giving me an opportunity to use more stitches (which I didn’t use).
You can turn the bugs in your canvas into features. First, decide how they could be incorporated into the larger design. If you want them to disappear entirely, you must pick a stitch and thread that will cover completely and thickly. You will probably have to test this going over the darkest color to cover.
If you are accenting the bug, as I did, pick a thread and stitch that will cover completely but also be sure your choice creates a strong contrast to the surrounding areas, otherwise it looks like a bad cover-up instead of something that was planned from the beginning.
Turning bugs into features will help you customize your needlepoint, making it work for you.